About Us

From a backyard dream to serving more than 125 riders annually.
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Our History

Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center began in 2006 with two students and a whole lot of faith.

Bonnie Rachael opened the center in her backyard in Guyton, Georgia, after finding an article about a similar program in a flyer at church.

Knowing this was something God called her to, she began the process of obtaining her certification through PATH International. The center began to slowly transform over time, each year adding riders, volunteers and horses.

In 2014, the property doubled to ten acres. In 2015, the foundation was laid for the Danielle Collins Covered Arena to be built in memory of Bonnie’s first student.

God is on the move and by faith we will continue to see Him at work here in the years to come!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is therapeutic riding?

Therapeutic riding is an equine-assisted activity for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with special needs. It provides benefits in the areas of health, education, sport and recreation & leisure. See Pathintl.org for more information.

Why the horse?

A horse is the only animal whose walk reflects that of the human and it can be very beneficial for riders who have difficulty and are unable to walk. Riders with sensory disorders also find that it provides input which can provide a calming effect even after the lesson is over. Riders with physical disabilities also find that it offers them an independence and “normalcy” that is difficult for them to achieve anywhere else. Perhaps the greatest benefit of the horse is its ability to see past the rider’s disability and build a bond with that rider.

What is PATH Intl.?

PATH International is the organization that promotes equine-assisted activities. PATH offers certifications for instructors and accredits centers in order to uphold high standards of safety and excellence in the industry. Faith Equestrian is a premier PATH International center and all of our instructors are certified through PATH.

Board of Directors

Brent Bissell

Kelsey Elam

Bridget Seay

Bridget Seay

Michele Shuman

Patsy Zeigler

Patsy Zeigler

Staff

Brent Bissell

CEO

Brent comes to Faith Equestrian with a vast experience in marketing with special depth in consumer relationships, brand development, strategic planning and communications. As a result of his authority in these areas, Brent was able to travel extensively and has a broad appreciation of the rich experiences life gives, and the special flavor that each gives to our world. 

Brent’s love of animals, his faith, and his experience make him a valuable addition to FETC, and he served previously on the board of the National Association of Congregational Churches and the Minnesota Brain Injury Association. He has also managed several successful organizations.  

A Guyton resident, Brent and his wife chose to make this area home after raising four children who now have families of their own. One of the children and their spouse moved to this area ten years ago after retiring from the Marine Corps. After visiting the area over many years, they chose to become part of the community.

Dana Starr

Volunteer Coordinator and Resource Development

Dana Starr grew up in metropolitan Atlanta and received her BA in Communication from Columbus State University.  She has logged numerous hours of volunteer work throughout many states ranging from being a Battalion Family Readiness Group Leader with the U.S. Army to assisting with PTA/PTO programs in schools. Helping those in need, either emotionally or physically, has always been a passion of hers. “Watching someone’s face as they complete a milestone or something they never thought they could accomplish is the most rewarding part of helping others. You smile in return as smiling is contagious and heals the soul!” She moved to Effingham County in 2016 and lives in Guyton with three sons and Edgar, their Staffordshire terrier.  Spending time at the beach and boating, whether on a lake or an ocean, is her absolute favorite thing to do. She is also an avid reader.

Elizabeth Todd

Barn Manager & Program Development

Elizabeth Todd has been involved with horses since she was eight years old. She now holds a Master’s Degree in Teaching and is certified through PATH International as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. She is also certified through Eagala as an Equine Specialist. Since 2014, Elizabeth has worked in the fields of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Equine Assisted Therapy, and Therapeutic Riding. She joined Faith Equestrian in September 2021 with her Goldendoodle Raphael, and RJ, a registered AQHA working cow horse.